Financial services technology teams have increased their productivity while working from home during the Covid-19 lockdown, largely because they have fewer interruptions, suggests a new survey from Digiterre.
With remote working seemingly here to stay, Digiterre spoke to technologists mainly working in trading environments located in London, New York and continental Europe about their experiences during the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the logistical challenges, productivity in software development teams has gone up, according to almost all respondents - with one organisation reporting a rise of 30%. The main reasons cited for the productivity increases is the absence of interruptions, the ability to time-box tasks and the reduction of context switching, or changing between tasks.
However, the survey shows that the software development lifecycle has slowed, due to reduced developer access to bankers and traders, and noted more limited test automation of legacy platforms.
Businesses report a broad range of remote working tools in their operations. Most use various development tools, with the Atlassian suite being particularly popular, while Zoom and MS Teams are most commonly cited for video calls.
Symphony continues to be used for messaging in trading businesses, as well as WhatsApp, and the trading turrets used at home have, in general, grown in sophistication in the few short weeks since lock down began. Meanwhile, enterprises are accelerating their transition to hybrid and multi-cloud strategies, leading to resilience and cost reductions.
Overall, there has been a sea change in attitudes to working from home which had previously been frowned upon and in some cases completely banned by policy. Most respondents expect remote working to continue in the long term.
Ian Murrin, CEO, Digiterre, says: "There has been a seismic change in attitudes to remote working which has been triggered by coronavirus but made possible by the technology investment made by finance businesses in recent years - be it for cost, productivity or compliance reasons.
"Productivity in software development has increased due to remote work, as reported by the technology leaders in our survey, but there is a lack of consensus on how you measure productivity and quality in this new normal. It will be fascinating to see how these trends develop as businesses implement a staged re-opening of some offices and a hybrid remote work model."